Any dog can bite, no matter its breed or type. While many dogs are friendly most of the time, even a normally friendly dog can bite a human and cause serious injuries. When looking at the data pertaining to dog bites that led to human fatalities and to the bite force of different breeds, certain dog breeds’ names show up more often than others. One such dog is the Rottweiler.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our dog bite attorneys have decades of experience handling Rottweiler dog bite matters across New Jersey. We offer every client who hires us no-win, no-fee legal representation. For a free, confidential consultation, call (866) 778-5500 today.
Rottweilers are medium-to-large protective watchdogs that, according to the American Kennel Club, can weigh up to 135 pounds. These dogs are known as loyal and loving to their families, but they are also “toughened” animals, Pet Comments reported.
Rottweilers were “war dogs” used to carry messages between soldiers in World War I and II, according to Anything Rottweiler. They were among the first dog breeds to be officially used as police dogs, although police dogs in the United States today are more commonly of the German Shepherd breed.
Instead of serving primarily as police dogs, Rottweilers today are popular family pets. The American Kennel Club ranked Rottweilers as the eighth most popular dog breed in the United States in 2021.
Rottweilers are strong and powerful. An angry dog of this breed (or one that simply feels threatened) can potentially become very dangerous. Like all breeds of dogs, Rottweilers may, at times, misinterpret innocuous human behaviors as threatening actions—and respond with aggression.
After ownership of Rottweilers (as measured by the American Kennel Club registration) peaked between 1990 and 1995, the dog breed first topped the ranking of “biting breeds” between the late 1990s and the early 2000s, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Only pit bulls were behind more deadly dog bites than Rottweilers, accounting for 66 bites, or more than one-third of all dog bite fatalities. Together, these two dog breeds accounted for almost half of dog bite deaths between 1979 and 1998—over 100 deaths in total.
As a breed, Rottweiler again ranks as the “second leading canine killer” based on a study of human fatalities from dog bites between 2005 and 2017, according to DogsBite.org. Rottweilers accounted for 10% of the human deaths associated with dog bites during this time.
Dogs of all breeds have the potential to bite, and even small dogs can cause serious injuries. However, a more powerful dog with a stronger bite has a greater potential to cause serious injuries.
Part of the reason Rottweilers accounted for so many dog bite fatalities is because this breed possesses such a high degree of bite strength. Rottweilers have the twelfth-highest bite force of all dogs, at 328 PSI (pounds per square inch), according to Pet Comments. Hundeo, a popular holistic dog training app, ranks this breed even higher—as the dog with the fourth-highest bite force.
No state-specific data for Rottweiler dog bite injuries is available, but NJ Rottweiler bites sometimes make the news. For example, in February 2020, a Rottweiler attacked its 72-year-old neighbor in Rahway, NJ, Patch.com reported. Two years later, the victim received a $1.025 million settlement.
Another example of a New Jersey incident is an August 2021 Rottweiler attack in Carteret, Middlesex County. The unlicensed and unvaccinated dog, who allegedly had a history of biting, was removed from the home, and a request was made for a court hearing to determine if the animal constituted a “vicious” dog, MyCentralJersey.com reported.
If you were the victim of a dog bite, we can help.
Following a Rottweiler dog bite, victims in New Jersey must take two steps right away: report the bite and seek medical intervention. Rottweiler bite victims can call 911 to report the bite to the authorities. Animal control and health department agencies should also be notified.
Injuries that may be serious and cases that may present a risk of infection necessitate immediate medical assistance. Calling emergency medical personnel to examine you or take you by ambulance to a hospital emergency department is a wise choice when the victim sustains serious injuries. Otherwise, have someone drive you to the emergency room, an urgent care facility, or your physician’s office. You may need to undergo wound cleaning and stitches, surgical repair of the wound, a course of antibiotics or vaccinations, or other medical interventions. If the injury damages your range of motion, you might need to rebuild your strength and mobility through physical and occupational therapy.
Under New Jersey law, dog owners face strict liability for their dogs. That means the owner of a dog that bites is automatically considered liable, or legally responsible, for the damage the dog causes to the victim under most circumstances, even if the dog has no history of aggression.
Despite this strict liability law, getting the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for a dog bite isn’t easy—especially if you were bitten by a Rottweiler or another type of dog breed for which homeowners and renters insurance policies often deny coverage.
You’re going to need someone on your side who can identify all potential sources of insurance coverage, review complex insurance policy contracts to understand whether any exclusions to coverage apply, and calculate the full amount of your damages. The dog bite attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. have decades of experience handling Rottweiler dog bite matters across New Jersey. We offer every client who hires us no-win, no-fee legal representation. For a free, confidential consultation, call (866) 778-5500 today.